• Sports - Football - Scores & Fixtures
  • Updated: February 28, 2022

Serie A: Napoli Bounce Back To Table Top With Ruiz's Late Strike

Serie A: Napoli Bounce Back To Table Top With Ruiz's Late St

Spanish midfielder Fabian Ruiz helped Napoli to shrug off Europa League loss to Barcelona and climb to the top of Serie A on Sunday with a stunning, last-gasp winner in a thrilling 2-1 victory at Lazio.

Spain international Fabian crashed home a first-time strike in the 94th minute at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome to snatch first place from AC Milan on goal difference.

His goal came at the end of a hugely eventful match which Lazio thought they had drawn when Pedro crashed home a sumptuous volley with two minutes remaining to cancel out a superb 62nd-minute opener from Lorenzo Insigne.

Insigne's first goal from open play this season banished the boos which accompanied his substitution during Thursday's 4-2 thumping by Barcelona.

Fabian's strike ensured that Luciano Spalletti's side capitalised perfectly on both Milan and champions Inter, who sit two points back in third but with a game in hand, only managing to draw with relegation-threatened opposition on Friday evening.

"Everyone breaks this team's balls saying it doesn't have character, I'd like to see what they're saying now," said Spalletti, irritated at criticisms of his team post-Barca.

"There's a nasty atmosphere around this team because people are saying that the players are soft, that they don't have character. Well, tonight they had character or no?"

Napoli host Milan next weekend in the latest episode of an exciting title race which also has Juventus creeping up on the leading trio, and will have a whole week to prepare for a huge match in Naples.

Milan and Inter meanwhile face off in the first leg of their Italian Cup semifinal on Tuesday night, with Inter hosting bottom side Salernitana this coming Friday.

Fabian's goal, which fizzed past Thomas Strakosha and sparked wild celebrations among the Napoli players and fans, inflicted a harsh defeat on a Lazio team guided by ex-Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri whose bid for a Champions League place took a hit.

They sit seventh, seven points behind fourth-placed Juve and were overtaken by local rivals Roma who beat Spezia 1-0 thanks to a last-gasp goal of their own.

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